Business Meeting on August 7th

We will have a business meeting after the service on August 7th. The meeting is mostly for the purpose of giving everyone an update on the state of the church and looking forward to the plans of the next several months. One of the most important matters we will consider is the vote for Randy Moore to become our first Elder of the church. Our Bylaws indicate that only members can vote on this matter. If you are interested in pursuing membership, please contact me at shorecommunitychurch@gmail.com.

Other matters we will discuss include small group ministry, finances, facility and Youth group. The goal is for the meeting to last not much longer than an hour so please make arrangements to attend. Thank you!

“The Story” Small Group Bible Study

On Tuesday, September 3rd, at 6:30pm, we’ll begin the Fall session of ShoreLife Groups at SCC. During these 10 weeks, we are working through a study called “The Story“. There are several reasons to do a study like this:

  • To help us understand how the story of the Gospel relates to the story of the Bible.
  • To help us understand how our story relates to “The Story”.
  • To help us become more comfortable with sharing our story.

There is a study guide that needs to be purchased to participate in the study. If you want to download the study guide to your Tablet or laptop, you can buy the PDF file and use it.  I am ordering a handful of study guides so you can purchase them on Tuesday.

Also, childcare has been arranged so bring your kiddos if you want to!

Another related resource is The Story app. It’s a free  condensed guide of the study.

Send me an email or text at (302) 396-9510 if you have any other questions!

Small Group Recap for week of 10.28.2012

Last week we finished reading the book of 2 Thessalonians. Here is the summary of chapter 3 interacting with our 3 questions:

(1) What does this passage teach about God?

Verse 3 tells us that God is faithful. This specifically is talking about his answer to prayer for protection from the evil one when the work of God is opposed. But more generally, God is faithful to keep his promises. What he has said he will do. Whether in relation to prayer or salvation, God is faithful.

(2) What does it teach about me?

Verse one teaches that we need people to pray for us. There will be things that make it difficult for us to accomplish the work God has for us, but God is faithful to answer these prayers for his work to progress in us. If we are at a place in our lives spiritually where we seemed to be plateaued, prayer is a vital component of continual growth. And, this is not just us praying, but others praying for us. The same is true in the church, we will not see growth at SCC, spiritually, numerically, or otherwise, unless we are praying. Nothing of eternal significance is ever accomplished without prayer.

 

In our diligence to live for God we can grow weary in doing good (verse 13). We need to warn and encourage one another as brothers and sisters so that we do not grow weary. This is not a license to confront everyone we know about how we perceive sin in their lives, because this implies a deep and meaningful relationship, like between two family members. Without the context of a deep relationship, correction and sometimes even encouragement has the opposite effect and it offends. Without relationship, addressing sin in a person’s life is often “judging” rather than encouraging.

 

3) How must I believe or obey to align my life with God’s Word?

Verse 6 is a warning to keep away from a brother who has nothing to occupy his time. Everyone should work to earn a living, if anyone refuses to do this, then they should not be provided for. This isn’t talking about our modern welfare system although there may be some application here, this is talking about people within the church body Any who refuse to work should be encouraged to do so.

Some traditions have interpreted verses 13-15 in such a way that it leads to a practice called shunning. People will behave like the other person does not exist. Is this not treating such a person as an enemy though? Treating like brother means addressing the matters so that repentance is brought forth. Shame is to lead to repentance not hatred.

What insights do you have that are not mentioned in this summary?

Small Group Recap for the Week of 10.21.12

This week in the SCC Small Groups we took a look at 2 Thessalonians 2. This isn’t an easy passage to understand, but here is a summary of what we talked about:

(1) What does this passage teach about God?

This chapter overall is about Jesus’ return. This is the primary truth we learn here and even if we have difficulty understanding some of what we read here, we can be confident in this truth.

In verses 1-2 the Apostle Paul warns believers not to be deceived into believing that Jesus has already come. He proceeds from there to talk about the “Man of Lawlessness” coming and opposing God by setting himself up as God.  Verse 7 goes on to say that the “mystery of Lawlessness” is already at work. Verse 10 says people will believe this lawlessness because they refuse to love truth. So, in verse 11, since they reject God, he sends them delusion so they believe the falsehood they desire and they are condemned in their rejection of the truth in seeking pleasure in unrighteousness.

(2) What does it teach about me?

We should give thanks that God brought us to belief in the Gospel. And in these truths and traditions we should stand firm (verses 13-15). In verses 16-17 we see that God loves us, has given us eternal comfort, hope, grace. He does this to ground us in the “work  and word” of the Gospel.

3) How must I believe or obey to align my life with God’s Word?

Different “End Times” perspectives interpret this in different ways. In spite of varying interpretations of this passage, I think there is an application we can agree on: don’t be deceived, love the truth. Rather than speculating on Jesus’ return, the rise of the anti-Christ and other end times circumstances, we should find hope in the coming of our Lord and in the True Gospel that proclaims his life, death, resurrection, and return. This perspective is given in verses 16-17.

 

Small Group Recap for the Week of 10.14.12

2 Thessalonians 1

(1) What does this passage teach about God?

In verse 6, the Bible gives a very important principle to understand during times of suffering such as the one the Thessalonian church was undergoing: God is just. The result of God’s justness is, “He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are trouble”. Verse 7 points to the day when Jesus will return as a reason to live with hope even in suffering. Verses 8 and 9 may seem harsh, but the Scripture says those who reject Jesus will be judged and punished.

(2) What does it teach about me?

Verse 10 tells us that those who believe in the Gospel will not face the judgment that those who have rejected Jesus will. Verse 11 is a reminder of the importance of prayer in the life of the church, especially in times of persecution or suffering.

3) How must I believe or obey to align my life with God’s Word?

Often the idea of God judging people doesn’t sit well with people. This is an area where we must continue to affirm the truth of Scripture even if we have difficulty understanding how a loving God is also a God who punishes. It is helpful to realize that the occasion of this letter is a time of great persecution of this church. Many were being arrested, beaten, and even killed because of their faith. God loves, so he doesn’t let evil go unpunished. If he didn’t oppose evil, would he be loving? As difficult as this is for many to understand, our prayer should be that of verse 12: may God be glorified in us.

Small Group Recap for the Week of 10.7.12 – 1 Thessalonians 5

1 Thessalonians 5

(1) What does this passage teach about God?

The “Day of the Lord” will come unexpectedly (verse 2). Jesus died for us so we could live with him. Whether we live or die, we will live with him (verse 10). God is faithful and will answer prayer (verse 24)

(2) What does it teach about me?

I am a child of the light, a child of the day (verse 5). Faith and love are my breastplate, protecting my heart. The hope of salvation is my helmet, guarding my mind (verse 8). We will not experience God’s wrath, but salvation in Jesus (verse 9).

3) How must I believe or obey to align my life with God’s Word?

There are several point of practical instruction in this chapter. It’s important to understand these things in light of God’s grace. These things don’t earn us his favor, but if we have accepted his grace and understood the Gospel, then the character of our lives should resemble in an increasing manner what is found in these instructions. Here is a list of questions related to these instructions:

  • Am I alert and self-controlled? In other words is my conduct pointing to Jesus’ coming (Verse 6)?
  • Do I have faith, hope, and love? Am I practicing them (Verse 8)?
  • Am I encouraging others and building others up(verse 11)?
  • Do I hold in high regard those who encourage and teach me (Verse 13)?
  • Am I living in peace with others (verse 13)?
  • Am I joyful always (verse 16)?
  • Am I praying continually (verse 17)?
  • Do I give thanks in all circumstances (verse 18)?
  • Am I sensitive to the moving of the Holy Spirit in my life or do I quench it (Verse 19)?
  • I should not treat prophecies with contempt, but I also should test them to make sure they are genuine (verse 20-21).
  • Do I avoid every kind of evil (verse 22)?
  • Am I idle? Am I timid? Am I helping the weak? Am I patient with everyone (verse 14)?
  • Have I paid back wrong for wrong or have I been kind (verse 15)?
  • Is my conduct blameless (verse 23)? Note that it doesn’t say sinless, but points to Christ-like Character.